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Adventist Mission


The Runaway

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, December 3.

By Charlotte Ishkanian


iroa wandered down the dirt road. Tears streaked his dusty face. Some women saw him as they returned to their village.

“You’d better hurry home,” one woman said. “It will be dark soon.”

“No!” he said fiercely. “I won’t go back there. They’ll beat me.”

The boy’s fierce defense surprised the women. They learned that his name was Tiroa, and that he was about 10 years old. He had run away from his aunt and uncle who lived in a village in the mountains.

The women couldn’t leave the boy alone, so Enta offered to take him home with her.

“Some food and a bath will make you feel better,” she said, smiling at him.

Tiroa sensed he could trust her and followed her home.

Enta prepared some potatoes, cassava, bananas, and papaya for dinner. The boy ate it hungrily. Then he washed his face and fell asleep on the sleeping mat that Enta had placed on the floor for him. Tiroa awoke to find more food to eat. Tiroa smiled a shy “thank you” at his new auntie, Enta. He liked her!

It was Friday, and that evening the family gathered to pray as the sun set. Tiroa watched the others kneel on the hard, wooden floor and fold their hands. He did the same. After a meal of pineapple and bananas, the boy curled up on the sleeping mat and fell asleep again.

On Sabbath morning the family ate breakfast and dressed for church, but Tiroa didn’t want to go. Auntie Enta sensed that he was afraid and allowed Tiroa to stay home.

During the following week, the family gathered for worship every evening. They sang a song, listened to a Bible story, and prayed. By the next Sabbath Tiroa was willing to go to church with Auntie Enta. Tiroa liked Sabbath School. He liked the story and the sing-sing time. He had begun learning some songs in worship and joined the children as they sang.

Tiroa’s family learned where he was and came to see him. Tiroa was afraid they would make him go back with them, but Auntie Enta convinced them that he was better off living with her. They agreed to allow him to stay in her village.

Tiroa has never been to school, and he cannot read or write. Auntie Enta wants to send him to school. Meanwhile, there are other lessons to learn, such as trust and obedience.

Although Tiroa had heard of Jesus before he ran away, he didn’t know that Jesus loves him. In fact, he didn’t know what love was until Auntie Enta and her family took him in. Now they are teaching him that they love him, and Jesus loves him, too.

Our mission offerings help people such as Tiroa learn that Jesus loves them. Thank you for giving.